Under the flag of fighting terrorism, virtually every outrage against people’s liberties is allowed as long as you work for the government. Nothing new, but this is surely a new low:
Veena Malik has expressed her anger and disbelief after she was handed a 26-year jail term by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court for ‘malicious acts’ of blasphemy.
Her crime? Appearing in a pretend wedding scene, staged on a daytime show broadcast by Geo TV and based on the marriage of the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter.
The program sparked a wave of controversy in the Islamic country when it aired in May, despite the fact similar scenes had been aired in the past to little or no such public outrage.
Malik’s husband, Asad Bashir Khan, and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the chief executive of the biggest media group in the Asian country, were further sentenced to 26 years behind bars for the apparent religious offense. The host of the show, Shaista Wahidi, was also punished.
Malik is both angry and optimistic.
“26 years! Come on. 26 years is a lifetime… But I have faith in higher courts in Pakistan,” Malik said… “When the final verdict comes, it will do justice to me. Nothing bad is going to happen.”
Let’s hope that she’s right, and that the same will be true for another Pakistani blasphemy convict. Asia Bibi, whom we wrote about here, filed her final appeal with Pakistan’s Supreme Court earlier this week. She will be executed if the justices don’t act. Bibi has been on death row since 2010 for supposedly insulting Islam during a bizarre local dispute over drinking water.
(Image via Wikipedia)